Uzma Sharif is a Chicago-based chocolatier and owner of Chocolat Uzma, both an online shop and a brick and mortar one in Chicago. I just love supporting women in business, and those running a specialty food business at that. Her chocolates are infused with the exotic aromas of South Asia and made so beautiful you need some time to enjoy them as eye candy before actually eating them. In this article Uzma shares her unique recipe for a family favorite rice and offers something special at the end for MHK readers to take advantage of…
the gift boxes by Chocolat Uzma are just as beautiful as the chocolates themselves, masha’allah
During the month of Ramadan, Muslims all over the world observe one of the five pillars of Islam – fasting. Although this is a global event, each geographic area has its own take on the food they eat during this time period. The Pakistani food culture is known for its spicy and warm twist on different types of foods. Desserts are part of breaking the fast because it’s a nice little reward after a whole day of going without food. As a chocolatier with a very colorful and cultural background, I like to put my own spin on numerous dishes. At my house we love to eat “kheer”, an aromatic rice pudding.
As a health conscious person, I have updated some ingredients to lower the guilty feeling of eating certain foods; instead I use raw cacao nibs, chopped dates (the little ones are filled with natural oils, calcium, iron and potassium), Ceylon cinnamon (good for colds and improving energy, vitality and circulation), almonds, pistachios, brown organic sugar, or honey finished with dark cocoa powder.
- 1/4cupJasmine rice
- 1/4cup Chinese Black Rice
- 1½ cup water
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 green cardamom pod seeds
- 1 ½ cup whole milk
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- ¼ cup brown Sugar or honey
- 1 teaspoon alcohol-free vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons dark cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Ceylon cinnamon
- a pinch of raw cacao nibs on each serving
- 2-3 Medjool dates, finely chopped
Wash jasmine rice until the water runs clear. Combine with black rice, water and salt in medium saucepan
Bring to boil then reduce the heat. Cover and simmer until all the water is absorbed (about 35 minutes).
Lightly toast the cardamom seeds in a small skillet over medium heat until fragrant. Remove from heat and grind in a spice mill- measure out 1/8 teaspoon.
Add the milk, coconut milk and honey to the rice, and stir together. Bring to a boil, stirring, then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring often, for five to 10 minutes, until creamy. Add the vanilla and dates, and continue to simmer for another five minutes.
Scrape into a bowl or into individual serving dishes. Cover and chill for at least two hours then sprinkle with raw cacao nibs before serving.
About the Giveaway
As a gift for My Halal Kitchen readers, Chocolat Uzma is offering a 2 person semi-private class in her kitchen, taught by Uzma personally. One person will win and have the option of bringing a companion to the class.
To enter, leave a relevant comment at the end of this post. Please read the Official Giveaway Guidelines before entering. Entering indicates you have read them. Giveaway ends at 12:01 am on August 13, 2012.
Although Chocolat Uzma Sharif has been thriving for the past two years, she just recently opened up shop in Pilsen, an arts district in Chicago, Illinois, in June 2012. They offer a full range of Chocolat’s retail products in the front end of the store, with the kitchen in the back. The kitchen doubles as a space to craft delicious chocolates as well as to teach classes to intrigued chocolate eaters.
If you’d like more information on Uzma’s chocolate classes and any other specific details, please check out her website.